Idaho woman wins back-to-back, six-figure lottery prizes

A person plays a scratch card in this file photo from June 4, 2014. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

“Never tell me the odds.”

Han Solo uttered those words in Star Wars, but Orlene Peterson lived them last month, when she won a pair of six-figure prizes in the Idaho Lottery over two consecutive days.

The odds of that happening are approximately 1 in 282.5 million, according to state lottery officials, who remain truly stunned by the circumstances.

Peterson won a $200,000 prize in Idaho’s Scratch Game Grand Fortune, then won $300,000 in the Scratch Game Comin’ in Hot the following day, lottery officials said in a news release.

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Her incredible stroke of good fortune started in late January when she bought several scratch tickets at a store in Hayden, Id.

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“I had bought some tickets already, then had $20 left over, so I thought what the heck, I’ll get a Grand Fortune ticket,” she told the lottery. She scanned the ticket and knew something was up when it told her to contact the Idaho Lottery for her winnings.

“That had never happened before when I was playing,” she said. “I checked it and it was a $200,000 winner.  I couldn’t believe it.”

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But Peterson didn’t get out while she was ahead. Instead, she bought another scratch ticket the following day in her hometown.

“When I scanned it and (it) said I had to claim it at the lottery, I thought maybe it was $1,000,” she said. “I never imagined it would be $300,000 and that it happened again. The next day!”

Each prize was one of multiple awards offered in their respective lotteries.

Peterson claimed her $500,000 in winnings last Wednesday.

Orlene Peterson poses for a photo to celebrate her winnings in the Idaho Lottery on Feb. 3, 2021. Idaho Lottery

She said she plans to pay off some bills and buy a new truck before heading to Las Vegas to roll the dice a few more times.

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Her chances of hitting a third big payout at the casino are slim — but so were her chances of winning twice in a row.

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